Questions tagged [congress]

A congress is typically the legislative body of a country, but without the executive powers of a parliament or president. Use with a relevant country tag.

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19
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4answers
4k views

Does the US require a House vote to begin an impeachment inquiry?

Does the US require a House vote to begin an impeachment inquiry? News sources such as this CNN article seem to show a disagreement between the White House saying that a House vote is required, while ...
11
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1answer
3k views

Can a bill that has passed the US Senate or House expire?

The Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 in 2013; however, the house has still not acted on it. Is it possible for the bill to expire? ...
29
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6answers
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What can be done about a US president who refuses to co-operate with an impeachment panel?

Is it possible to prevent a sitting US President from hindering an impeachment investigation against him or her? The Washington Post just reported that: Trump personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Can US Congress members be (successfully) sued for defamation?

What is the level of protection of Congress members against civil lawsuits for statements they make, e.g. can they be successfully sued for defamation (libel, slander etc.)?
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2answers
327 views

Why is 3/4 of the US federal government unaffected by a shutdown?

I don't understand why the shutdown only affects a portion of the government. Where does the rest get its funding and why isn't it bound by the same dependency on congressional approval?
118
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7answers
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Why couldn't Republicans who voted to repeal Obamacare so many times under Obama do it under a Republican president?

I seem to recall that Republicans voted to amend or repeal Obamacare dozens of times when Obama was president. It was a meme that they had so many better ideas about health care. They seemed to be ...
25
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10answers
6k views

Is it true that Republicans have an unfair geographical advantage in elections for the House of Representatives?

I'm not from the U.S. but someone told me that the Republican Party had an unfair advantage in elections for the House of Representatives. This advantage would be geographic. The voters who usually ...
41
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7answers
5k views

What could the US federal government do to reform the police?

There is a widespread belief that policing in the USA suffers from systemic racism. Let us suppose that Joe Biden gets elected President and decides that this is a priority. Let us also suppose that ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Can the Supreme Court strike down an impeachment that wasn’t for ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ or is Congress the sole judge?

If an impeachment for something clearly not a ‘high crime or misdemeanor’ were to go though for example for increasing tariffs, would the Supreme Court have the power to overturn their judgement?
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3answers
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What are the limits on an impeached and not convicted president?

What, if any, are the limits on an impeached and not convicted president?
18
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3answers
1k views

Why cancel the AHCA vote, rather than giving it a try?

Paul Ryan just announced that the house will not be voting on the AHCA today after all, since there was too much opposition from other Republicans for it to be able to pass. Why would he cancel the ...
13
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3answers
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How do independents choose a party to caucus with?

I know that several independents in the US Senate (ie. Bernie Sanders) caucus with the Democrats. Officially, what does that mean? How do independents choose whom to caucus with (both ideologically ...
9
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1answer
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Is there a procedure to recall US Senators?

I live in Colorado. Is there an procedure to recall a senator or representatives in Congress in my state? What are the steps in executing that procedure?
8
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1answer
882 views

Did Schumer offer Trump a deal that included the wall?

The United States is currently in a government shutdown, because Democrats won't vote for an appropriations bill without a deal on DACA, and President Trump won't agree to a deal on DACA without ...
7
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1answer
769 views

How can the federal United States congress conduct a public referendum vote?

Is it possible for congress to delegate voting on specific policies to a nationwide popular vote at the federal level? If so, how would this be accomplished?
6
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1answer
6k views

What is the minimum number of Legislators required to pass various Acts of Congress?

Since the US Constitutional Quorum for most purposes is a majority of each house of Congress, can bills pass that house with a majority of the quorum or do they need a majority of the total seats of ...
4
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1answer
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In the US how much power does the President have over the budget?

Let's say the president wants to either increase or decrease spending. He pledges to veto any budget that doesn't increase/decrease spending by X amount. How much impact would this actually have? How ...
4
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2answers
712 views

How does a government shutdown happen?

So, It seemed as though an act or lack there of from congress caused this "Government Shutdown" to happen. My question is: What specifically has to happen for a government shutdown to happen? ...
4
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1answer
684 views

Ability of a minority party to hold a pro forma congressional session

I recently came across the concept of a pro forma congressional session, where a single lawmaker will open the session, wait a minute, then close the session. Apparently, this tactic has been used by ...
4
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2answers
334 views

Why didn't Mueller have to submit a report to Congress?

Ken Starr had to submit a report directly to Congress, pursuant to 28 USC 595 (c) Why didn't Mueller have to do this?
36
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4answers
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In the US, what is the role of and relationship between federal law and state law?

(This is an attempt at a canonical question about an important distinction in US law and politics that is different than many other countries. It was suggested by this comment on another question. I'm ...
16
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2answers
555 views

Are there any procedural advantages to indefinitely delaying or canceling a vote on a bill?

There are many bills proposed by Congress. My understanding is that most of them get referred to committee, and no action is ever taken on them. Some make it out of committee but are never scheduled ...
45
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7answers
6k views

How do politicians scrutinize bills that are thousands of pages long?

The recently passed stimulus bill is said to be 5,593 pages long, and allocates $900 billion in funds. It's no surprise that there was no chance to read or amend the bill. The logistics of revising a ...
11
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2answers
691 views

If Congress discards a state's electoral votes, does it change the number needed for a majority?

According to the 12th Amendment, a majority of "whole number of Electors appointed" is needed to elect a US President or Vice President, or else it's thrown into a contingent election by the House (...
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4answers
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Are all retroactive laws, ex post facto laws?

In the United States, Congress' seeming inability to pass a fiscal cliff bill before the 1/1/13 12:00 AM deadline has sparked discussion that Congress could potentially pass a bill sometime in January ...
9
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1answer
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Can't congress override Trump's assumed veto of the temporary spending bill?

The senate unanimously passed a spending bill a few days ago to keep the government funded until mid-February. Trump stated that he will veto it because it doesn't include funding for a wall. There is ...
19
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1answer
715 views

Was there a specific order for a muted response to pro-trump rioters' assault on the capital building?

Comparing the response to the recent BLM protests and the scenes last night (06/01/2021), as pro-trump groups made their way into the Capitol building, the reactions don't seem to be proportional. ...
18
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1answer
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How can a bill pass the US Senate by a vote of 3-0?

The Palm Sunday Compromise was a bill which passed the US Senate by a vote of 3-0, 97 not present. How is it possible for the Senate to conduct business with the overwhelming majority of its members ...
16
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1answer
638 views

Did Congress pass a 5,593 page bill without chance to amend or even read?

US Representative Justin Amash tweeted: For half a year, congressional leaders refused to put any legislation on the floor to be considered AND scrutinized AND amended. Now, they release a 5,593-page ...
10
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1answer
374 views

What are the limits of the authority of POTUS to issue Executive Orders

Civics class was almost a half century ago. However, I thought I was taught that only Congress could make laws. How and why does the President have the authority to make law via Executive Orders? ...
7
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2answers
450 views

Would the JCPOA be considered a treaty or an executive agreement?

Would the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action be considered a treaty or an executive agreement? I understand that in order for a treaty to be considered, the president must seek the approval of the ...
5
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4answers
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Trump's recent siding with the democrats on 3 months debt extension - trying to understand a few things

I've read up on it a bit and I think I understand the basics. The 3-month debt ceiling extension gives the Democrats key negotiating leverage in December when the debt ceiling is up for discussion ...
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1answer
165 views

Can the Senate vote again on the bill to fund “The Wall” after the new members of Senate are sworn in?

Currently the house has approved and signed a bill funding "the wall." Senate has not approved. New members are sworn in January. Can the bill then be approved and submitted to be signed by the ...
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1answer
919 views

What will be the makeup of the new Congress (2021)? [duplicate]

There appears to be 2 House elections that are contested and 2 Senate runoff elections yet to be held. What will be the makeup of the new Congress once they are sworn in on January 3, 2021? In other ...
23
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4answers
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Why does the US Congress have two chambers?

Why does the US have separate houses (House of Representatives and Senate) to form Congress? Put another way, what is the reasoning behind a bicameral legislature in the USA?
20
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1answer
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Will NORAD Santa tracker be affected by the government shutdown?

If the government shutdown that started about 12 hours ago (at the moment of writing the question) will continue (and probably will) later than 24 december, than what will happen with NORAD Santa ...
10
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2answers
303 views

Is there a minimum amount of opportunity to provide for reading a bill to be passed?

The Republican tax plan was just passed, and there's a bit of uproar about the way it was released. Several of the Democratic congressmen have complained they were not able to read it, both because ...
9
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2answers
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Why is the Speaker of the House able to stop a vote on a clean spending bill?

The President claims that the House Speaker, John Boehner, is refusing to allow a vote on a so-called "clean spending bill" which many believe actually has the votes to pass (see for example http://...
9
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1answer
726 views

Why does the 50–50 Senate need a new organizing resolution before Democrats can take control of committee chairmanships?

Unlike the House of Representatives where its "rules package" expires at the end of each Congress, the Senate continues to operate on an existing organizing resolution from previous ...
9
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1answer
166 views

What has been the historical trend of U.S. congresspeople voting as blocks?

It feels as though every time I've looked at voting records from the U.S. congress, I notice that virtually everyone votes with their party; that is, for any given bill, every Republican votes the ...
7
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1answer
16k views

If a bill was referred to a Committee, and died there, is there a way to tell what happened?

In this answer, I linked to a bill that was listed as dead in a Committee. Another user asked what happened to the bill, why did it die and who supported/opposed it (votes or otherwise): Where can I ...
6
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1answer
411 views

Who in the US actually “sends” astronauts to the Moon? The executive or the legislative branch?

The sources cited in this question and in the news mention that in a recent speech to the US space council, vice president Pence announced that NASA should land astronauts on the south pole of the ...
6
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1answer
814 views

Is the “pairing” procedure used in the US Congress?

In the UK Parliament, there is a procedure whereby two MPs from opposite sides of the House can agree to both be absent for a vote, thereby preserving the same balance of votes as if both had attended....
5
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1answer
246 views

Must bills introduced in Congress be completed within that term?

I suspect that between new Congresses, given the turnover in people, that there is a lower likelihood for prior bills to pass. However is there a rule on this - are bills that have not passed in a ...
5
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2answers
748 views

If the Supreme Court were depopulated, what powers would be lost?

If, due to some doubly unlikely and unhappy combination of accident and obstinacy: a sitting Supreme Court were to (as a whole) perish or all retire, (whether suddenly or gradually), a lengthy ...
5
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2answers
385 views

What happens if the US Attorney General refuses to comply with the legislative branch?

Similar to question Is there precedent or are there procedures for a US president refusing to concede to an electoral defeat? but in reference to specifically the attorney general. As a side note, ...
5
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1answer
232 views

What is the next portion of the US government that will be shutdown?

Currently, it appears that around 25% of the US government is shutdown. To the best of my understanding, this is because different departments funding expires at different times. What does the ...
3
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1answer
171 views

Can the Senate Majority Leader change during a Congressional term? [duplicate]

With the change to the Alaska primary rules, and her recent denunciation of President Trump's actions inciting the recent violent riot/insurrection, a few (although I have yet to see particularly ...
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2answers
776 views

What portion of the Affordable Care Act originated in the House?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare was declared constitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States. In Justice Roberts opinion, he declared that the individual mandate ...
0
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1answer
569 views

What's the ratio of treaties ratified by Congress to other forms of international agreements the US is part of?

An NBC opinion piece says by former Senator Russ Feingold states: There have been relatively few treaties considered by Congress in recent decades, in part because executive agreements and regular ...